Friday, July 3, 2009

Father's Day

I'm not really sure what came over me. We were on our cross-country road trip having a wonderful time. It was a clear blue day (the best kind for driving) and we were getting to Greg and Jessica's that night. We were so excited and happy to be getting there.

The DJ on the radio mentioned that it was Father's Day. Even on the road, I'd had the kids make Father's Day cards for Mark. Since we were on the road, that was about the extent of our celebrations for now. But when the DJ mentioned it, I got to thinking about my own Dad.

My eyes started to sting. The tears came. It had been a while since I felt like that, since I'd cried like that. So many thoughts went through my head, many of which I've already expressed on here. But a few new ones as well. I wrote them down and vowed to myself that I'd do a post as an honor to my Dad.

My Dad is perfect . . . for me. He was not a perfect person, but he is the perfect Dad for me. I'm so lucky to be able to say that, to have that. I sincerely wouldn't change a single thing about him, his easy manner with me. Not one. Who can say that??

I also wondered, as I thought about him that morning, was it scary for him to leave me? Was it hard to for him to leave knowing he wouldn't be around to help protect me, look out for me, care for me, his little girl that he'd always loved, cared for, and protected? Was leaving all of us the hardest part of letting go of this life? For a parent, I would think that must have been excruciatingly difficult. And he couldn't even talk about it. He was unable to speak. So I don't know. There's so much I've had to intuit and that's been difficult.

It's frustrating. Beyond words, it's frustrating. Knowing that I can't just go up there and visit. I can't feel the weight of his hand on my shoulder as he dances with me, sits by me, hugs me. I miss him so much that it hurts. It physically hurts.

Grieving is hard. It creeps up unexpectedly at times. Like that morning driving out of Kansas as the DJ mentioned what day it was. The wave of grief, of missing him, washed over me and caught me so off guard. It set a bit of an emotional foundation for the family reunion. Everything was precious to me--our kids visiting with their sweet great grandmother, seeing Jessica's mild-mannered Dad enjoy his sweet granddaughter, having Mark's side of the family all together again after over 10 years. So many things reminders. So many things to not take for granted.

I count myself a lucky, lucky girl to have such a wonderful father. I'm also lucky to have such a wonderful husband and father of our children. I think that my Dad's leaving this life was made just a little bit easier by his knowledge of Mark's love for me and our children.

How I can feel so lucky and so mournful at the same time, I don't know. I miss my Daddy. I miss him so much. And it often seems terribly unfair. Grieving my Father's death has had very unexpected effects on my life, deeply personal and deeply felt. It has shaken me, it has affected my perspective on things, it has drastically altered my belief system.

Things have changed for me quite a bit over the past year and a half. This year has brought more peace than the one before, just not in the way I would've thought. There is so much we don't know and I'm learning, uncomfortably at times and wondrously at others, to find peace in the uncertainty. Spirituality runs deep for me and mourning my Father's death has had a profound impact on my religious and spiritual self. It has changed me. It has surprised me. It has strengthened me.

I'm learning to have the courage to listen to my self, to follow my heart, and to focus on the big picture and what really matters without being distracted by the inconsequential and irrelevant. I believe in God. I believe that we are all collectively part of something bigger than ourselves, that we, our selves, our hearts, our energies, are part of a oneness that unites us all together. I believe that as I learn to listen to my heart and trust myself that I am much more in tune with that unity and greatness than when I get distracted by minutiae that just don't matter. And that when I focus on all of that and distance myself from the minutiae, that I have more peace. And for my sanity and my family and my life, I have to go with that.

That being said, I still miss him very, very much.


Dr. Mark said...

What a wonderful post. I'm sitting here trying to wipe the tears so I can get back to work. I know it hasn't been easy on you, but you've weathered it all quite gracefully. Hang in there! I love you!

the emily said...

I thought about you a lot on Father's day, wondering how you were doing. Thanks for sharing your sweet feelings. I'm sorry it's been hard but you seem so strong about it now.

Jagged Rocks said...

I understand completely about the emotions just hitting. It still happens to me, and my dad died 7 years ago. I also wasn't as close to my dad, as you were to yours. Thank you for the wonderful post.

D'Arcy said...

What a beautiful post friend.

I had unexpected tears today too for a life that was and you just can't go back to. I keep thinking about this crazy idea of the passing of time. Of how things can be in your life one minute and completely gone the next. I can't wrap my brain around it and it's left me a bit melancholy in Paris today.

I can't wait to meet you in real life. just so you know.

Boquinha said...

Thanks, everyone. Your kind comments mean a lot.

J Fo said...

What a beautiful way to honor your dad. I'm sorry that my pops added to your sadness! ;) Reading about your mourning process and how you've dealt with the loss of your dad, it really makes me feel lucky for what I have and makes me want to enjoy every moment possible. Thanks for sharing!